Here’s the video recap and review of True Blood Season 5 Episode 9 “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
WAR! This season of True Blood is coming down to the wire, and with only three episodes left to go, we’re finally getting the all-out battle royale we’ve been promised since the season’s inception. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” shows us an evil Bill, a noble Eric, a determined Sookie, and the revelation of just who’s behind Hoyt’s kidnapping.
Who is the leader of the the Anti-Supes Hate Group terrorizing Bon Temps? And is Bill really the traitor he appears to be?
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Hey guys, it’s Nick Roman here, filling in for the very talented Joe Tranchina. I’ve long been a fan of True Blood and I’m thrilled to finally get an opportunity to cover it. Now let’s plunge our fangs in…
This has arguably been the show’s strongest year, narratively, since season two, in which Maryann the Maenad turned the entire populace of Bon Temps into mindless, hedonistic sex addicts. That season had a focused, streamlined narrative in which each of the separate plot threads of the season came together into one seamless fabric. Season five is following a similar trajectory, and the show is perhaps better than it’s ever been now that “Who’s Sookie sleeping with this season?” has taken a back seat to more pressing matters, such as “Who killed Sookie’s parents?” and “What’s with Bill’s sudden heel turn?” And hey, Lafayette is back! Sure, he’s always been around, but the Lafayette of the past two weeks is a lot closer to the man everyone fell in love with in the first two seasons, and less of the “constant victim of supernatural forces” that he’s been these past two seasons. True Blood is at its best when it’s embracing its inherent pulp nature and forcing its characters to come face-to-face with the outlandish dangers of their circumstances.
Case in point, tonight’s episode, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) isn’t completely buying into Bill’s sudden conversion to the Sanguinista movement, given that he’s the biggest proponent of mainstreaming Eric has ever met. He entrusts Bill (Stephen Moyer) with the task of procuring a sample of Salome’s blood in order to access an exit to Authority HQ. This is Eric’s only chance to keep his promise to his maker, Godric, to keep Nora (Lucy Griffiths) safe. Eric seems entirely new to this whole hero business, but it fits him like a glove. Also fitting like a glove, Bill’s sudden turn towards villainy, as he betrays Eric just as he’s about to escape with Nora, turning him over to the justice of Salome. The world of vampires has gone to ruin ever since the Sanguinistas, on Bill’s suggestion, bombed the largest TruBlood manufacturer in the world, forcing vampires to turn back to feeding on humans.
The TruBlood crisis is front and center at Fangtasia, where Tara (Rutina Wesley) tries to horde the remaining stock to preserve sanity, while Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) orders her to keep serving the synthetic blood to keep the clientele from feeding on humans. Pam’s shrewdness is all for naught, however, when the new Sanguinista-appointed sheriff of Area 5 enters the bar and declares open season on humans. It’s a disquieting scene, nearly as unsettling as Bill’s roll-in-the-hay with Salome, in which he hallucinates bedding Sookie and feeding on her, before seeing the image of Sookie transform into Lilith. Bill gets the blood sample from Salome (Valentina Cervi), but only in service of turning traitor on Eric later. With all these Sookie-Eric elements present in his mind, it leaves one to wonder just how much Bill’s sudden turn is tied to some lingering resentment over Sookie, and her dalliance with Eric last season.
Meanwhile, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Andy (Chris Bauer) continue the investigation into the shifter killers, now with the added incentive that Hoyt is likely in danger, since Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) is suddenly incapable of feeling his presence. Coming across the group’s website, Jason and Andy discover that they’re not only killing shifters and tying up vampires to melt under the sun, they’re also making soup out of shifters by killing and cooking them while in their animal state. The group has taken a level in psychopathy, to say nothing of their confounding choice of Obama masks for their disguises (Jason Stackhouse, for the win: “Maybe they don’t wanna be recognized!”). Their mission statement, which the police read from the website, equates shifters and vampires to immigrants stealing jobs from honest, hardworking Americans.
The show has always made wink-and-nod parallels between vampires and the gay community, from the kind of persecution they face from hate groups to the right wing activists who make it their mission to spout hateful rhetoric on any cable news channel that will have them. The parallel is more overt now than it’s ever been, and though it makes for a less subtle hour of television, the show is better the less subtle it gets. There’s no ambiguity here. This hate group is clear, unambiguous evil. As Sookie (Anna Paquin) utilizes Lafayette’s abilities as a medium to communicate with her late Gran to ask about her parents’ death, the clues lead Sookie to ex-Sheriff Bud Dearborn, who is revealed to be a member of the hate group terrorizing Bon Temps.
Of course, Bud isn’t the one in charge. No, that would be his demented girlfriend Sweetie. She knocks Sookie unconscious with a frying pan and has Bud tie her up and toss her in the barn, alongside a drugged up Hoyt. It doesn’t take long for Jason and Andy to put two-and-two together and storm the barn, or for Sam and Luna to beat them there and assist in the brawl as Sam takes out some of the goons, Luna gives Sweetie the beating of seven lifetimes, and Andy shoots Bud after a dramatic standoff, forcing Andy to come to grips with his adequacy as sheriff via the betrayal of his former mentor. This would seem to close the thread of the hate group storyline, though I sincerely doubt Andy and Jason (or Sam and Luna, for that matter) have seen the end of their action this season.
Speaking of closed threads, it seems Terry (Todd Lowe) is finally free of the Ifrit, having killed Patrick (Scott Foley) after he abducted Arlene to lure him into a trap. It’s a brief sequence but suitably tense, given how likeable Arlene is and how badly we want to see Terry at a place of peace. He’s a character defined by the trauma of his war experiences, and seeing the Ifrit devour Patrick is chilling, but also cathartic, as we know that Terry can finally start moving on with his life. However, the sudden resolution of this storyline means that something new is likely on the horizon for Terry. Given our past experiences with the character, it’s unlikely that it’s something good. That said, True Blood is an often surprising show, such as when Russell takes over JD’s pack and takes Luna’s daughter, offering the young Emma (in her wolf pup form) to Steve Newlin as a pet. Meanwhile, Alcide is busy ruminating over his defeat at JD’s hands, going to visit his disabled father (Robert Patrick), and one can only imagine it’ll be up to Alcide to do something about this mess with Russell and claim leadership of the pack. What we have here are the disparate plot threads of the season tying together as the Vampire War comes to a head.
This was a tightly-focused episode that draws the characters of this world closer together to fight a common cause, as True Blood did in its best seasons. With only three episodes to go, this is likely to be a bloodbath. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose some characters we care about. The stakes (I swear the pun isn’t intended) are higher than they’ve ever been, and that can only mean no one is safe.
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